The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett is a delightful and deftly written novella about the Queen of England and her late-in-life discovery of the joy of reading. I loved Bennett's portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II. And who can argue with the life-changing power of books?
To someone with the background of the queen, pleasure had always taken second place to duty. If she could feel she had a duty to read then she could set about it with a clear conscience, with the pleasure, if pleasure there was, incidental...
The appeal of reading, she thought, lay in its indifference: there was something undeferring about literature. Books did not care who was reading them or whether one read them or not. All readers were equal, herself included. ... (Reading) was anonymous; it was shared; it was common. And she who had led a life apart now found that she craved it. Here in these pages and between these covers she could go unrecognised.This witty novella is a lot of fun. And, at only 120 pages, it can be read in a day. I'm so glad my neighbor took a chance and recommended this book to me. It's a lovely read.